Jesus taught that two commandments summarized God’s entire law.
— Matthew 27.37-39 – He said, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’
“This is the greatest and first commandment.
“And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”
If you examine the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20, you will see that the first four commandments referred to a person’s relationship with God, and the remaining six gave stipulations on how to live with other people.
Paul is an excellent example of someone who based their life on the two commandments to love. Notice his statement of love to a problematic church in the next verses.
— 2 Corinthians 4.13-15 – But just as we have the same spirit of faith that is in accordance with scripture — “I believed, and so I spoke” — we also believe, and therefore we also speak,
Because we know that the one who raised Jesus will also raise us with Jesus and will present us with you in his presence.
Indeed, everything is for your sake, so that grace, when it has extended to more and more people, may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.
Paul could say to the people who troubled him that he was doing, “everything is for your sake.” Can we say that about the people in our lives?
He wanted God’s grace to be extended to the wayward church, and from there to more and more people. He knew that the ultimate end of such a process would be thanksgiving and praise to God.
What a wonderful way to express our love for God and to other people! Let’s make this our aim.
Like the seminary president I wrote about yesterday, Paul knew affliction. He also knew that current difficulties would be overwhelmed by God’s glorious activity.
— 2 Corinthians 4.16-18 – So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day.
For our slight, momentary affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure,
Because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen, for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.
If life were a baseball game, I would have been born on third base with every opportunity to score.
In my prayer time this morning, I researched human trafficking. Here are some statistics about the business that exploits people for 150 billion dollars a year in income.
In 2012, the International Labor Organization estimated that 21 million victims are trapped in modern-day slavery.
Of these, 14.2 million (68%) were exploited for labor, 4.5 million (22%) were sexually exploited, and 2.2 million (10%) were exploited in state-imposed forced labor.
The International Labour Organization has reported that child workers, minorities, and irregular migrants are at considerable risk of more extreme forms of exploitation.
These victims were not born on third base but were at the plate trying to get a hit with two strikes against them.
I believe our loving Heavenly Father has plans for these afflicted people. I believe his grace will set right the wrongs perpetrated against them on the day of judgment.
Let’s add this vast crowd of suffering persons to our prayers and ask God to give them a future like the one Paul described in these verses.
Our prayers will reflect our commitment to the two great commandments that Jesus taught.
Rudy Ross and I have produced a video on this passage. It can be seen on the Bob Spradling YouTube channel.
Please email your prayer request to firstname.lastname@example.org or private message me on Facebook. The Maywood prayer team will pray for you.